Favored No More Time scored a front-running victory in the Sam F. Davis S. (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs, adding $120,000 to his bankroll and accumulating 20 points toward a start in the May 4 Kentucky Derby.
Out of the winning Speightstown mare Baroness Juliette, he was acquired at the 2022 Keeneland September Yearling Sale from the Legacy Bloodstock consignment.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Rich Mendez, a co-owner in Morplay Racing, said of winning the Sam F. Davis. “Our partner, Dean DeRenzo, bought him as a yearling, and we ended up keeping him.”
Bred in Iowa by MAMAS Thoroughbreds, No More Time improved to 2-1-0 in four starts in taking the Sam F. Davis while increasing his career earnings to $156,780.
More preparation time proved key for No More Time in the Davis.
Deciding to scratch his 3-year-old from the Feb. 3 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) a week ago at Gulfstream Park, trainer Jose D’Angelo instead chose to await the Sam F. Davis, believing he could have a fitter colt before an important prep race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
“Because I knew he needed one more workout,” D’Angelo said of a breeze on Holy Bull Day at Palm Meadows Training Center.
The work appeared to leave him sharp. No More Time shot to the front in Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile dirt race under Paco Lopez and raced uncontested over the first portion of the race with fractions of :23.52 and :46.61 while tracked by Change of Command. Shrugging that one off, he was challenged on the second turn by Iroquois Stakes (G3) winner West Saratoga, who advanced from a stalking position into second, pushing No More Time into a six-furlong split in 1:10.81.
Again, No More Time had more left. He dispatched that foe, opened up by two lengths in midstretch, and held on for a comfortable, 1 1/4-length victory over late-rallying Agate Road. He raced 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.26. He paid $8.60 to win as the public choice.
“The trainer told me to put on the brakes out of the gate and sit third or fourth, but my horse broke unbelievable and I let him go,” Lopez said.
Had Agate Road, a graded stakes winner on turf last year in the Pilgrim Stakes (G2T), won Saturday, he would have given Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher a record-extending eighth victory in the Sam F. Davis.
Instead, D’Angelo, Lopez, and owner Morplay Racing won their first with No More Time.